Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mum's Birthday Pressie

    It's hard to believe that mum turns 85 next Monday. If you met her you'd think she was much younger, she is as sharp as a pin & still very independent. As happens every year i racked my brain to think of the right present. I asked a facebook quilt group for suggestions & one clever lady suggested a bag for mum's walker, if she has one. She does, not because she's doddery, but because she has hammer toes, the result of hand-me-down shoes. As one of 9 children, & the youngest of 5 girls growing up through the depression, it's not surprising. 

    Unfortunately mum lives 1000 kms from me, so I couldn't pop in for a visit to measure up the walker, I asked my nephew to take some pics while he was visiting & I had to wing it. He tells me mum isn't using the walker so I'm hoping this will encourage her! With this in mind I decided not to go with something pretty, but something cute, oh & the walker is red which immediately meant red, black & white to me. I hope she likes it.

It's 10" square, I used lightweight pellon to give it some body & some medium weight interfacing in the base. The pocket is for her keys so they are easy to find.  I sewed on red webbing to tie the bag to the walker.

I sent mum a photo album a couple of years ago with family pics in & I'm printing some more to send.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Clare's Craft Challenge #2

This finish came down to the wire as I was waiting for a nice warm day to paint the chair. I did get it undercoated a couple of weeks ago, but the weather since has been cold with a lot of wet. Anyhoo yesterday was lovely & I got the 2 top coats on. Today I covered the cushion, yes I could have done that anytime but.........:-)

Here are the two challenge photos that Clare sent me:

Here's what I started with:

So here is my tah-dah, all done & I'm very pleased with it. I would have used the darker blue if I'd have any, but I'm on another challenge of using what I have, & this is the darkest blue I had in a sample pot. The blue flower is actually quite close to the blue grey, it looks brighter in the pic.

& yes even under the cushion is finished. :-)
It also kick started a lot of furniture painting because I have a stall at a car boot sale early in November, so this is my chance to hopefully clear a lot of excess stuff from the garage. I have a dream that one day I'll be able to park at least one car in the garage.

I will blog some furniture pics in the next week or so. Right now I have been nominated by my friend Abby:
to take part in the Around the World Blog Hop, so I have another post to write. If you would like to be nominated please let me know in a comment.

Don't forget to pop over to Clare's blog:
to check out the other challenge projects, I'm on my way now! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Latest Challenge Project

I have signed up for another challenge with Clare & these are my challenge photos:

These are what I have chosen to use in my project:
A lovely old chair.
  Some bright fabric I bought a while ago because I couldn't resist it,
+ a pot of paint
So you can see the size of the flowers, quite big. 
Molly had to check out if it's a comfy chair, lol.

Watch this space to see the finished product. :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cubes Makeover

I'm on a mission to get my house just the way I want it. We've lived in this house for 4 years now, & we have made quite a few changes/improvements, but there is so much more I want to do. The main object of the exercise, is to de-clutter as much stuff as possible. I get ridiculously attached to 'things,' & instead of all those things making me happy, I feel like I'm dragging them all along behind me, & boy are they weighing me down! 
Every so often Rowan & I daydream about moving to another country, & it all sounds so wonderful, but then I think about all the stuff I have collected over 54 years, & the idea of moving anywhere, let alone to another country, is a nightmare. SO, I'm getting rid of as much as possible to make life lighter & easier. The house will work for me, instead of against me, it will be quicker & easier to keep clean & tidy, & I'll know where everything is. 
My focus is on the lounge/dining/kitchen, which is an open plan area. Because it's a bit overwhelming to attack 3 rooms I'm breaking it down into areas. I've nearly finished 2 walls of the loungeroom, & here is a peek at a project for wall 1. The cubes were in another room, & I had an antique kitchen dresser in this position. I decided to jazz up the cubes & display things I love & will be keeping.

Before, boring.
After: I cut 3mm MDF squares, covered one side with
wallpaper & arranged them in the back of the cubes. 
 Just a few of my favourite things. As I work my way through the house I'll add more treasures. The typewriter was my dad's. I chose the wallpaper behind it with some yellow in it, as yellow was dad's favourite colour.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Miniature Quilt Shop in Homespun Magazine

I received an email from Emma at Homespun magazine earlier this year asking if a pic of my dollhouse quilts, could be shown in an upcoming edition of Homespun magazine article on miniatures. I said yes please, & mentioned I also had a miniature quilt shop. Emma was interested in seeing pics of it so I sent a few through & Emma asked if they could be used too. I took this opportunity to add some more things to the shop before taking more pics for the article. Here it is in the September 2014 issue. I thought it would be a good time to blog my little shop for my regulars to see, & if anyone has come via Homespun, Hi & Welcome.

I built this mini quilt shop many years ago. It was a kit that I bought at an annual miniature & dollhouse show in Sydney. I built the little classroom to match, & added the side door to join the rooms. The shop is 1/12th scale, meaning 1 " = 12" which is a standard measure for most miniatures.
The quilt shop.
 I made the two quilts, the one behind the counter is hand pieced & hand quilted. The blocks are 1/2" square. The house quilt is made of pre-printed house fabric. I bought the beautiful braid rug, it is hand made.

The bolts of fabric are just fabric wrapped & glued around a piece of cardboard
The knitting corner.
Quilt shop from above.
The classroom.
I filled the stand with lots of mini magazines & mini fat 1/16ths.
I made the noticeboard & painted the scene on the stand.
The table in the corner holds a teapot & teaset,
because a classroom without a cuppa is no fun!
   The design board is a piece of felt glued to cardboard.
The class room from above.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Creative Challenge Reveal!

I signed up for a craft challenge a few weeks ago. The idea was that Clare would send me a random picture, & a colour. & I would use these to create 'something.'
Here is the challenge blog post:

Clare emailed me these pics to base my project on:
I'll be the first to admit that my creative juices have pretty much dried up of late. I've been running on auto-pilot for quite a while now & it's hard to get my brain to focus. 

First I thought about making a small quilt, but I knew it would just get shoved in a cupboard with all the other small quilts I've made. I  love working with felt & haven't done so for a while, so that seemed very appealing. I do have a bit of pincushion obsession, & I tend to have them out on display so I can enjoy them, so I figured this would be a good way to go.

It's very simple as you can see, but it ended up taking a few days on & off as I tweaked it, & unpicked a bit here & there to change it. I enjoyed just pottering with it, & as I'm not up to much else at the moment I didn't feel guilty just faffing about with it. I also enjoyed the change from crocheting which I've been doing for the past 5 weeks. It's hard to tell the size by the pics the base has a 4" diameter.

My initial 6 week recuperation stage is nearly over so I'll be able to start doing more which will be good. No heavy lifting till next year, but I'm not sorry about that! :-)

Pop over to Clare's blog to see what other people did with their challenge.

Thanks Clare for a fun challenge!

Friday, August 29, 2014

 Well the Dr Who outfit was a success, mind you I was sewing the buttons on the vest as Rowan was waiting to leave. Typical me! I kept procrastinating when it came to the buttonholes. I finally dug out the machine manual, followed the instructions, & they were fine. I haven’t done buttonholes for donkey’s years & have bad memories of a lot of unpicking. I should have just trusted my lovely machine.

The hardest part of the whole thing was getting the pattern right for the vest. I bought a pattern, & luckily traced it onto lightweight interfacing because a. I like to keep the paper patterns intact & b. it gives me a chance to check out the size. Thank goodness I did this, & thank goodness Rowan was home that day, because the pattern just didn’t fit. Too long & too small around the hips. Once I had the pattern right, the vest was easy peasy.

I knew if I tried to knit the scarf I would do nothing else, & my arms/wrists would protest loudly, so I decided to make it out of polar fleece. It took quite a few hours but I’m really pleased with it & Rowan loved it.
I laid it out on the kitchen island.
  Rowan wore the outfit to the cinema to see the new Dr. He said it was great.

Fortuitously a post popped up on Facebook with a link to cleaning your sewing machine. I knew I would need to clean my machine after sewing the polar fleece so this reminded me to do it I opened it all up to find this: Ewww! I cleared out all the fluff & oiled it & it looks, & sounds, a lot better now.
I have finally started on de-cluttering my life. I came across a 10 a day plan that really seems doable. The truth is I have 1000’s of things to get rid of, & because it’s all seemed so overwhelming, I keep pushing it to the back of my mind. But all this excess stuff is dragging me down, so when I read about getting rid of 10 things a day it sounded well within my comfort zone. I started on the garage on Friday, well I sat on a chair in some very rare Melbourne sunshine & directed. We filled 2 bins & a trailer with rubbish. Why did we keep all those boxes? Sorted out several bags & boxes of things to go to the charity shop, & sorted stuff to price up for my vintage stalls. We only dealt with about 10% of the garage but it was a start, & we could actually see a bit of floor. I’d really love to reach a point where I could put my car in the garage! Saturday Emma came to visit & took some large sets of shelves I no longer need, & I gave her a few things of hers that had been left behind when she left home 12 years ago. So an easy 10 things.
I’m still working on my crochet blanket & have made some progress. I've actually done more since I took this shot but it's too dark now to take a current pic. Mind you, I’ve now mislaid my crochet hook, hard to understand when it stays next to me on the lounge, but I’m not quite up to crawling around on the floor looking for it yet. Meanwhile, I have started sketching up some ideas for the craft challenge I signed up for so I will get started on that. I have a few ideas, but all I know for sure is that it will involve lovely felt. I have a week so I should start today rather than waiting till the last minute……..

Update, I've made my challenge project, with days to spare, & will upload a pic on Monday. Oh & I found my crochet hook, it had slipped down into one of the large balls of wool, lol.
Rowan spotted this beautiful rosella in the front yard yesterday & grabbed my camera.

Friday, August 8, 2014


Well I've started on the gypsy blanket & it's looking quite pretty. The blocks are smaller than I'd imagined, which is a good thing because they are quick to make, & I feel like I'm making progress. 

I finished the first 9 squares & laid them out, I then decided to join them, like a patchwork 9 patch, I'll continue doing this & then join the blocks. I'm choosing either warm or cool colours for each square & will sew them up alternately warm/cool.

I definitely need to get some orange wool, although it looks like there is orange in the pic there are 2 reds & a pumpkin. I want a bright orange. I also need a lot more of the grey wool!

Rowan needs a Dr Who #4 costume. First up I knew I'd need to make the scarf. There isn't time to knit one, it's 12' long, lol, so I'm going to make it out of polar fleece. I went to Spotlight & sourced some of the colours, but they had a very limited range of plains. I'll check out Lincraft tomorrow, hopefully they'll have the others I need. The challenge will be to find a hat!

I also bought the fabric & pattern to make the vest/waistcoat. I haven't done any dressmaking for years & I'm looking forward to it. I've bought a few patterns lately, mostly vintage style dresses, & I'd like to make some clothes again. I was making my own dresses when I was 12, mum was a keen sewer & taught me. These days her eyesight is poor, but she still makes bags when the mood takes her.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Recipe for Recuperating

I'd hoped to blog regularly again after my last post but life got in the way. I'm now officially recuperating for the next month or 2 so hopefully will have more time to get back in the swing of it.

I'm currently sitting quite comfortably on my lounge, watching the Commonwealth Games, as I recover from the total hysterectomy I had last Tuesday morning. Definitely not something I had on my bucket list, but such is life. I'm not going to bore you with a blow by blow of the whole saga, yes there was stitching involved, but not of the craft variety lol. My pathology all came back clear, this was more a preventative exercise rather than a treatment, so now I just heal & it's behind me. If you would like to ask anything I'm happy to answer. I can report a positive experience, so if you're waiting on the same op, don't panic it's all ok! I feel so good it's hard to remember that I can't lift anything or overdo it.

So I now have a 6 week 'holiday' from any housework & I can craft to my heart's content. I joined a facebook hysterectomy group & so many of the women are going stir crazy as they rest, I'm looking forward to all the craft time I now have.

I have a couple of projects in mind, this gorgeous crochet blanket from Alice:

I've gathered the wools but haven't started yet. 

Note the raggy basket handle, Molly's toothwork, lol.

I'm also still making hexies out of vintage bedsheets, I scour the op shops & vintage shops looking for more sheets or pieces thereof. 'One day' this will be a quilt for my bed. Note: I only cut up damaged sheets, the ones in good condition I use, they are lovely soft cotton & so pretty. 

I also have a stitchery on the go that I started last year. It was a pattern in Mollie Makes.

I also just signed up for this challenge, so I'm looking forward to putting my brain in gear for something new. I hope some of my blog friends join in too, let me know if you do. :-)

I'd also like to take the opportunity to get all my photos sorted. I took them all out of their albums before we moved to Melbourne 4 years ago, as the albums were damaging them, & I haven't done anything since. I really should scan them all. I'm not into scrapbooking so it's all about getting them in order & labelling them.

It's so nice to be blogging again. Please say 'hi' if you have a chance so I know I'm not talking to myself. :-D